Paramount Silents Coming to Blu-Ray/DVD from Kino Lorber

The news came out last year that Kino Lorber negotiated a licensing deal with Paramount Pictures to release some of their silent films.  Paramount silent films are pretty scarce, hard to see, and the few that surfaced on home media were last seen on VHS.  In positively thrilling news, some Paramount films that are slated to come out later this year are films that have never been on VHS or DVD/Blu-Ray.
A frame from Reel 1 of Stage Struck in Process 2, two color Technicolor.

First, for me is the incredibly exciting news of three (3) Gloria Swanson titles, Zaza (1923), Manhandled (1925) and Stage Struck (1925).  Each film directed by Allan Dwan, who really got the best out of Swanson in many ways, more so than Cecil B. DeMille.  Of the three films, only Manhandled has been released; this through the venerable Grapevine video.  While I am excited for all three films, as I simply adore Swanson, I am especially thrilled about Stage Struck.  It is my favorite of her silent films, it's a wonderful comedy and shows Swanson off to great advantage.  The first reel was filmed in Process 2 (two color) Technicolor and was gorgeous in a print I saw from Eastman House. The Swanson DVDs have a street date of June 6, 2017. 

Manhandled is a breezy comedy and Zaza is a romantic drama, so all of these will show off Swanson's versatility.  She was, truly, much more than Norma Desmond, these three films will help to explain why Swanson was the greatest female star at Paramount Studios.

Next we will have Rudolph Valentino represented with his breakout exotic film The Sheik (1921).   Oddly, The Son of the Sheik will also be part of this release.  It's not a Paramount title, but, Valentino is always welcome!  Ben Model will score The Sheik and Alloy Orchestra is providing their signature percussive beat for The Son of the Sheik.  Both DVDs have a street day of May 30, 2017.

Beggars of Life starring Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery will be a hot seller, too.  The print derives from the recently restored print housed at Eastman House.  No street date that I know of, yet.


More Louise Brooks starring with W.C. Fields in It's the Old Army Game and Fields in Running Wild.

This is all that are announced so far.  I am hoping that there might be a restoration in the works on the 1923 The Ten Commandments and the other big Paramount release from 1923, The Covered Wagon.  I understand through the grapevine that there are two more films in this series.  Having recently seen Pola Negri in the delightful Woman of the World, fingers crossed this gets a release, too.  It's splendid.  One final wish would be Monsieur Beaucaire starring Valentino, Bebe Daniels, and Doris Kenyon and Miss Lulu Bett staring Milton Sills and Lois Wilson. The Library of Congress has a beautiful print of Monsieur Beaucaire.  

It might be too much to hope that the excellent 1923 feature The Spanish Dancer makes it to DVD.  I hope that deal is being worked out for a Flicker Alley release.  Fingers crossed!


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